Where? : Turkish Embassy, 43 Belgrave Square, London SW1X 8PA
When? : Friday, 12th March 2010
When? : 2:30pm - 4:00pm
“When they arrested me they beat me up a lot. I don’t understand why they treated me like this. I am very upset here, I am in pain here”
These are the words of Berivan Sayaca a fifteen year old Kurdish girl who was recently jailed in Turkey for 8 years for allegedly throwing stones at armoured Police vehicles in a demonstration, a crime against the state.
There are currently 2,622 children incarcerated in Turkish prisons. According to the Diyarbakir Human Rights Association, some 737 children have been charged under Turkish counter-terrorism legislation since its introduction.
“Why did they use force towards me? My legs are still covered with bruises. They put this cream on my legs to cover the bruises so no one can see them. They hit me a lot when they first took me in. I don’t know why they treated me like this. I’m only 15…. I never deserved this place.”
Children imprisoned in Turkey can look forward to the abuse and misery that is common in the Turkish justice and prison system. According to the European Court of Human Rights, between 1959 and 2009 Turkey was the worst violator of the European Convention on Human Rights, with almost 19% of all violations, and 2,295 judgments issued against it. Turkey also had the highest proportion of violations in 2009, with 347 out of 1,625 negative rulings. The right most commonly violated was the right to a fair trial. Turkey was also condemned in 30 cases of inhumane or degrading treatment. Being Kurdish is to be a second class citizen in Turkey and will only increase the chances of being a victim of injustice and abuse.
Turkey ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) in 1995. Berivan is a child, whose rights are protected by this Convention provides that “No child shall be deprived of his or her liberty unlawfully or arbitrarily. The arrest, detention or imprisonment of a child shall be in conformity with the law and shall be used only as a measure of last resort and for the shortest appropriate period of time”. We consider that an 8 year sentence on conviction for the crimes reported is grossly disproportionate, and appears to be a violation of Turkey’s treaty obligations under the CRC.
We call on the Turkish government to release Berivan and all Kurdish children held in Turkish jails without further delay under humanitarian law.
For further information contact the Free Berivan Committee:
Tel: 07799285812 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org & email@example.com
See also: http://apps.facebook.com/causes/445490